The Aliu Mahama Foundation (AMF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development, has launched a community health and well-being outreach initiative to provide free medical screening for residents of Zongo communities across the country.
The initiative, dubbed "Zongo Laafia," meaning "Healthy Zongo," was launched by the Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, at a short ceremony at the residence of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu in Accra last Saturday and has a target of reaching out to over 10,000 people across the various Zongos this year.
The ceremony was attended by the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central, Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, the Imam of Fadama Zongo, Mallam Maigyayya, who represented the National Chief Imam, children of the late former Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama and a host of other dignitaries.
A screening exercise was organised to mark the launch of the programme, during which about 50 people were screened for various ailments, including malaria, hypertension and dental diseases.
The first major screening exercise under the initiative is scheduled for next week at the Fadama School Park in Accra.
In an address, Dr Abdul-Hamid underscored the importance of the “Zongo Laafia” health and well-being outreach programme for the Zongo communities, noting that some Zongo residents lacked the resource to undertake regular medical check-ups.
He consequently pledged to provide more support to make the project a success.
"If the Aliu Mahama Foundation is bringing this health screening exercise to our doorstep, to enable us find out what is wrong with us and to seek the correct medical remedy at the right time, I will say that this is a very laudable, worthwhile, profitable and useful initiative," he said.
The Executive Director of the AMF, Dr Samuel Frimpong, explained that the objective of the initiative was to impact the lives of Zongo residents.
He explained that although the initiative was to be replicated nationwide, a needs assessment would be done to identify the Zongo communities in dire need of the service.
"Initially, we wanted to do not less than five Zongos per region, but we realised that some of the regions do not have that many Zongo communities and so we want to prioritise,” he added.
The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, also in an address, eulogised the late Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, as someone who was passionate about the development of the Zongo communities and recounted the role he played in ensuring that the Tamale Sports Stadium was built during the 2008 African Cup of Nations, despite a strong opposition from the CAF inspection team to buttress his point.
Mr Manu said the health ministry was supporting the programme to ensure the fulfilment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s promise that the Zongo communities would not be left out in the President's developmental agenda and vision for the country.
The first son of former Vice-President, Aliu Mahama, Farouk Aliu Mahama, expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for honouring his promise of supporting the Zongo communities.
The Aliu Mahama Foundation is a non-profit organisation formed in memory of the late Vice-President, Aliu Mahama and to provide social intervention initiatives in the area of health, sanitation and education for deprived communities, particularly the Zongos.